MONEY CLINIC | I'm still under debt review, despite paying my creditors. What can I do?

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A Fin24 reader in desperate need of vehicle and home finance struggling to access credit, seeks the help of an expert as he is still flagged as being under debt review.

He writes:

I went into debt review in 2015. My debt counsellor closed down. I therefore contacted my creditors and I'm paying them myself.

However my credit profile still states that I'm under debt review and therefore not being able to access credit, which I desperately need. I have engaged the services of three companies to help me get the flagging off my profile. Sadly all of them have charged me but have done absolutely nothing to assist me. 

Kindly advise on the way forward as I am in desperate need of vehicle and home finance. 

Benay Sager, Chief Operating Officer at DebtBusters responds:

We are sorry to hear this; this is a common complaint. It is not a good situation when a consumer is excited about owning a car or a house, and they find out they cannot.

There are a lot of unregistered companies who claim to be able to help consumers in such a situation, but most of them cannot. We always caution consumers against doing business with companies who are not registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR). 

With that said, there is a solution in this case.

The only entity who can help in this situation is another debt counsellor, who would request a transfer on behalf of this consumer (from the previous debt counsellor). The previous debt counsellor has five business days to respond to this request – if they do not respond, then the consumer is transferred to the "new" debt counsellor.  The "new" debt counsellor would then take over.  

Again, in choosing a "new" debt counsellor, we advise the consumer to choose one who is registered with the NCR. 

The "new""debt counsellor would then request documentation from the relevant credit providers. If the consumer has indeed been paying directly to credit providers, the "new" debt counsellor would be able to verify that the accounts have been paid, and evaluate how far away from being paid up the accounts are. If accounts are paid up, then the "new" debt counsellor can issue a clearance certificate and consumer would then be allowed to apply for new credit. 

If accounts are not paid up, then the consumer would continue to be under debt counselling until accounts are paid up.

Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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